Four Year Old Doing Reading Fluently, Solving Equations, Squares, Exponents and Most of Her Times Timetables Long before COVID, my co-founder (and daughter, now four years old), had used Alexa to help her go from CVC words to reading at a 2nd grade level in about four months. I realize that may sound hard to believe, but here's a clip of her reading a list of 6th grade site words from a list she's never seen before.
We had already started experimenting with skills I built for for adding a series of numbers, identifying Fibonacci numbers and other stuff like protons and the solar system. Early in the process I realized I wouldn't be able to make a great Alexa lesson that would help every parent give their child the huge leap my co-founder realized.
Tools for Others to Build Lessons on Alexa So I rehashed an old project that let people make Alexa lessons simply by putting information into a spreadsheet. But even that seemed one layer of abstraction short of making it dead simple for those with knowledge to very quickly create lessons that captured that knowledge into a useful Alexa lesson.
500 hundred people helped their kids learn phonics using an Alexa lesson we built in under 20 minutes for $0, but it took others a lot longer to put their thoughts into the form of a conversation, even if they didn't have to do any coding.
From Adding Double Digit Numbers to Multiplication in Two Weeks
When COVID shut down preschools, we built Alexa lessons that help from doing basic addition to doing double digit addition (Bigger Number First Skill), then solving some simply multiplication and ultimately solving most multiplication tables within two weeks.
The Math Hacks lesson, and others, was designed to allow others to take this journey.
What it does
The basic skill does assessments for parents to determine how long it will take their children to learn a given math task. The Quiz Builder tool enable any teacher, nonprofit, parent or school to "Clone" (copy) and edit those assessments and even the lessons that follow, either for a fee or for free.
It also allows teachers and others to create similar skills either using the "Create Quiz" function by voice or by editing an existing skill using Google forms.
How I built it
100% of the skill was built using AWS - Lambda function for the Middleware, node.js on hosted Alexa for the other functions. Anyone with a Google forms account can user their existing account for that part if they like.
Challenges I ran into
Mainly the timeout issue with Alexa, since testers required time to think of questions, edits and Alexa would time out.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
This is a clear simple path to helping about 4 million teachers, about 20 million students and many families
What I learned
It takes lots of testing to make users happy
What's next for Teach So by Brainsprays.com